If you have only one Facebook page to analyze - you are lucky, but what if you are responsible for a big hotel chain with hundreds of pages? Don’t despair; at least you have a lot of pages to compare your results with! :)
A huge unfair advantage of big brands with regional branches and sister-brands is the ability to create their own internal standard to compare with and benchmark effective content tactics from the fellow-brands.
Let’s study the case of some famous hotel chains’ presence on Facebook, like DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton in Europe. Assuming that Summer is vacation time when the hotels should be the most active, let’s analyze their Facebook pages from June 1st to August 31st, 2014. We can also perform an analysis from the perspective of the DoubleTree Hotel in Amsterdam. There are several different contexts we can analyze this hotel in:
and so on.
For this study let’s take the 3 major groups for comparison: competitors, sister-hotels and hotels of the same chain.
Using the Competitors lists feature, I have created 3 groups of accounts to analyze:
At the end of the day we’ll have 3 different standards to compare with and 3 sources for benchmarking: competitors, sister-hotels from the Hilton group, and other branches of DoubleTree hotels.
We’ve compared the hotels in three dimensions: Conversation rate, Amplification rate and Applause rate (Comments per post, Shares per post and Likes per post). With the maximum results marked as 100%, the following graphs will show us by how much each hotel is lagging behind the leader.
GoldenTulip may look like a winner at first glance, but when we dive into the numbers it becomes clear that Sofitel is an absolute winner with total 51.11 engagements per post with GoldenTulip taking 2nd place with 25.73 engagements per post:
No photo finish needed here; a clear win for Waldorf-Astoria.
Note the huge winning margin of the DoubleTree Dublin Morrison hotel; we’ll definitely have to learn more about their success triggers later.
Time to announce the winners:
We can conclude that the DoubleTree Amsterdam Hotel demonstrates somewhat average performance among all hotels of this chain, sister-hotels from Hilton Group, and compared to competitors.
Now it’s time to improve DoubleTree Amsterdam Hotel’s performance by benchmarking some great ideas from other DoubleTree hotels and discovering their mistakes. It would also be nice to benchmark from competitors and sister-hotels within the Hilton group. But let’s concentrate on DoubleTree chain first, it’s definitely the most relevant source of ideas because all these hotels share similar brand essence.
To discover the reasons for the epic success of DoubleTree Dublin-Morrison Hotel, the first thing to look at is content health: what percentage of posts are “dead” on their Facebook page (don’t get any reaction from followers: no likes, no shares, no comments). Let’s hunt some zombies:
Unsurprisingly, you can clearly see how the % of posts with no engagement tends to grow for the worst performing accounts. Interesting that some hotels like DoubleTree Lisbon and DoubleTree Warsaw have 0% of unengaging posts, which means they have relatively consistent content: pretty much even performance for posts (even if this performance is low) while totally unengaging content appears rarely.
Meanwhile, Dublin-Morrison Hotel has the smallest percentage of “dead” posts combined with the best overall performance. Which means they have inconsistent content: sometimes super effective posts appear, sometimes are totally dead. Looks like they have found some super engaging topic that interests fans, but still need to improve the rest of the content to lower the % of “dead posts”. Later in the article we’ll try to uncover this super effective content topic and analyze their “dead posts”.
An interesting finding is an average percentage of Facebook posts for hotels that are left uncommented on, unshared and unliked. Based on DoubleTree hotels’ statistics - it’s a pretty big share of content:
The next step is to study these “dead” posts and the best content in order to benchmark some good ideas and learn from the mistakes of the fellow-hotels.
Dublin Morrison Hotel has found an interesting creative technique to engage its fans. 10 out of 10 best posts for this account are about competitions. Contests of a different kind and budget: starting from cheap "win 2 tickets for the concert in our hotel" and ending with high-budget "luxury 3-day getaway to partnering hotel from the Hilton chain". The contests with tickets as prizes are not only effective at engaging fans on their Facebook page, they also attract visitors to the hotel by promoting the events they will be hosting. A double-win. Nice tactic to borrow. The same win-win contest with luxury getaway to other Hilton hotels - promoting new destinations and sister-brands.
As for the worst posts, 5 out of 10 content pieces are just photos of the hotel interior. I know there’s no way to avoid such photos in a hotel’s account; after all, that what they sell - accommodation. So maybe adding some creativity and emotions could save the situation. Like Amsterdam Hotel did:
They managed to show the hotel interior while adding a feeling of connection with their fans. The overall content strategy of Amsterdam Hotel is based on warmth, friendliness, fun, and feeling welcomed. From showing the process of baking their famous Welcome Cookies to fun interactions with the staff. That’s a good example of how the brand essence, “Warm. Comfortable. Smart” is supported by the social media strategy. After all, your goal in social media is not only gaining Likes, but also creating a positive image of the brand in the eyes of customers. There’s something even leaders could learn from an average-performer.
However, some hotels from the chain don’t follow this strategy, like, for example, DoubleTree Alexandra Barcelona. Their posts feel very distant, cold and emotionless. In addition, new posts are only added rarely, which adds to their low performance on Facebook in comparison to other hotels from the chain. Just compare the posts of the 2 hotels Amsterdam’s and Barcelona’s, you can easily spot which is which:
And 2 different ways of presenting the same cookies:
One more important aspect is involving fans in the conversation, not just talking to yourself:
Using warm colors, an informal style and personalization (smiling people or at least parts of them like fingers on the photo above :) ) is definitely more appealing to users than just a cold statement of the fact that hotel staff recently had an interview (how is this supposed to make me feel more welcomed?). Everyone loves emotional content; people are not robots, after all.